DAVID, Dick

Dick David RTA

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

At the age of 12 young Dick David decided he did not like school. He used to wag and make his way to Buntine Roadways in Katherine and mess around in the yard as a roustabout painting crates and washing trucks. At 15 he put up his age, got a driver’s licence and started work. Dicky drove for Buntines for many years before becoming ‘Road Boss’.

In 1981, Dicky and his wife Maxine bought a pizza shop and some earthmoving equipment. In 1982 he sold them and took over the BP depot in Katherine setting up Dick David Fuel Supplies with long-time friends, Ken Warriner and Kerry Packer..

Over the next few years, under the name of Australian Fuel Distributors (AFD), the BP distributorship expanded to take in Tennant Creek, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Alice Springs, Darwin and Kununurra. During this time they purchased an old Atkinson and a couple of cattle crates and started another company known as D&W Livestock Transport. They went on to buy RTA and other companies, including John Bain, Tanami and Barkly Transport, becoming the largest owner of roadtrains in Australia.
 
In 1993, Dicky sold RTA and in 1996 bought out his partners in AFD and was joined by his sons Brooke and Brett. He expanded to purchase a controlling interest in Reliance Petroleum, the BP distributorship in Cairns, Mareeba and Innisfail thus becoming one of the largest fuel distributorships in Australia.  Dicky’s businesses became renown for providing reliable service to remote northern Australia including the roadhouses, communities and the pastoral industry in particular. AFD, under Dicky’s direction, was actively involved in the community and it supported a wide range of community groups such as schools of the air, Life Be In It, Landcare, campdrafts,  rodeos and the NT Cattlemen’s Association.

In December 2003, Dicky retired and Brooke took over the reins of AFD. Dicky is now driving a Cummins-powered motor home and still following the white line around Australia.